A Rough Night
Once again I found myself back at the old diner, watching the misfits like myself walk in.
Denise knew me by name, order, booth, and schedule. I always came into the diner at 12:39 am and darted to the booth in the left corner of the L-shaped diner ~ it was the best place to people-watch ~ and ordered a mocha with some chocolate chip pancakes. Every once in a while Denise would come sit with me in silence and watch as I wrote in my journals, but she would mostly be catering to the others.
There was Jason: the homeless dude who was always granted a warm cup of coffee and a leftover muffin; Connie: the owner's daughter who would sit near the door on her phone until her friends arrived to pick her up, then take her away until 5 when she got back and pretended she never left; Beverly: the underpaid teacher who always sat in the booth next to mine and graded papers while humming offkey to the radio; and last, but certainly not least, we had Gizmo: the cook with the inappropriate humor and whole-bellied laugh.
Tonight, though, brought something I would never expect.
The door rang at 2:15, indicating a new customer. Looking up at the fourth intruder of the night, it turned out to be someone from my school... his name was... Damien? Devon? Deevaugn? Something like that.
Hands in his pockets and long black hair covering one side of his face, he surveyed the cafe until he saw my table, then began to walk towards me.
This isn't part of the night. This is wrong. My blood began to feel hot, my routine ruined for the night and therefore bringing my body a sense of danger.
"Excuse me, sir. You need to wait for me to seat you," Denise demanded as she stepped between my table and this boy. He looked her up and down, then looked over her shoulder at me.
"Looks like my party is already here, though," he retorted.
"Boy, I suggest you wait," she demanded again as she stepped forward, trying to force him to back down.
"Denise, let him through," I called out. Everyone looked up at me, shocked at hearing my voice. The boy took this chance to slide past Denise and fly over to my table before she could stop him. I slowly closed my journals and stacked them on the corner of the table closest to me up against the windowsill. He took off his black trenchcoat and folded it, setting it down so he could have a layer between his black jeans and the booth's seat.
"You're a hard lady to track down," he jested as he grabbed the menu from in front of me.
"Why are you here?"
"Straight to the point. I like it." He set the menu down and locked eyes with me. "You've done nothing on our project. I know you're still going to school digitally, but I'm not getting an F because of your negligence."
"I've done tons of work on it, I just haven't transferred it over yet."
"Let me see it." My blood went from boiling to ice cold in an instant.
"Let me see your work. It's due in two days, I'm not letting you do all your work tomorrow night if you haven't done it yet." I felt my anxiety rising, my breathing getting irregular, and my body shaking. Before I knew what was happening, he set his hand on top of mine on the table and everything went numb. I felt nothing. No paranoia, no fear, no anxiety... nothing... I looked back up at him, realizing he hadn't stopped looking at me.
"How... how did you do that?"
"Do what?" I shook his hand off mine and all my feelings came back. Looking up at him once more, he put his hand on top of mine again and even the voices stopped. Everything was silent.
"How do you make everything stop?" He looked down at my hand and turned it over, beginning to massage my palm with his thumb
"That's for you to find out," he said gingerly with an endearing smirk. And before I knew it, he was walking out the door, trench coat flowing being him.
... I need him.